This is the time of year in the NBA when teams are figuring out if they are contenders or pretenders. The Chicago Bulls have emerged as contenders for an NBA title as the Charlotte Bobcats are quickly fading as pretenders in the NBA.
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As the season winds down for the Bobcats they are attempting to play through injuries and trades as players fight for a starting spot. One of those players fighting for a spot is Boris Diaw.
Diaw seemingly saved his starting job Monday, by assembling a near-triple-double in a loss to the Clippers. Or maybe not. Here’s the deal: Diaw, a mercurial sort, played horribly in a three-game Western Conference trip last week precisely when the Bobcats needed him most. With Stephen Jackson injured and Gerald Wallace traded, they needed him to step up, at least temporarily, to be the Magic Johnson-like presence his skill set and size would suggest.
Instead, he shot 4-of-23 and played uninspired defense against the Lakers’ Pau Gasol and the Blazers’ LaMarcus Aldridge. Those players might have greater size and talent, but Diaw has the moxie to disrupt them, and he never did. Worse yet, he didn’t score or make plays for others in this crucial stretch of the season.
Monday, just as coach Paul Silas was obviously contemplating a shift to Tyrus Thomas (once Thomas is back from a meniscus tear in his left knee), Diaw came up with 19 points, eight rebounds and eight assists against the Clippers.
Either way, it might be too little too late — both for him as a starter and the Bobcats as a playoff team.
The Bobcats are 2-9-2 ATS in their last 13 home games against a team with a winning road record and 1-4 ATS in the last five games overall.
The Bobcats have no fight left as they stumble down the stretch and should be easily beaten by the Bulls.
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